A family lives in the Mexican countryside raising fighting bulls. Esther is in charge of running the ranch, while her husband Juan raises and selects the beasts. When Esther becomes infatuated with a horse trainer named Phil, the couple struggles to stride through the emotional crisis.
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Familiar themes of family, betrayal and conflict between our inner/outer natures and desires, Our Time is sublimely shot with trademark extended observations on nature, sunsets and animals up close, yet it plays narratively straighter than his previous work. The duration feels perfect for the pacing and the couple dynamic is engaging throughout. I felt the final scene a little too on the nose thematically. 3.5 stars
2.5 - Whether or not I appreciate the thematic aspects of his earlier works, there was always something intriguing about his form and stylistic content, but in this one there was nothing of that. You had to wait 165 minutes for the first visually appealing scene of the whole film. Thematically not an appealing work either. Hopefully this was just a short lived blip as this was a generic work in every aspect.
Thankfully he retains his distinct sharp eye for class and machismo culture and while it doesn't cut nearly as deep as lets say a film like Batallia En El Cielo it provides some humorous insights. Watching Reygadas himself force dick jokes to keep up his manhood in-front of the rancheros was nice. Also some great cuckold scenes which seemed like the genuine article especially housed within the language and culture
TIFF '18 Reygadas' filmography up to this point has been very impressive but the long wait for this feature comes up mostly fruitless. 'Our Time' is an overlong and mostly empty exercise examining an 'open' marriage that is unravelling made novel by the casting of the director and his wife in the lead roles. Natalia Lopez impresses but she often seems to be exploited in this personal film. Disappointing.
Territorial pissings. In the intro Reygadas phoned-in for our screening he spoke a lot about 'presence' in opposition to representation. Presence - the state of existing, or being present. In this feat of biography we understand the subjectivity of presence, wrestling with epiphany and consternation, all the while nature proceeds like machination. Definitely in majesty, but also in machination.
We have lost Reygadas in his pretentious ego and his cringeworthy performace. Thematically is absolutely banal. Aesthetically wise it never comes close to his previews works. And narratively is as straightforward as he has never been. This is the counterpart of Post Tenebras Lux minus the artsy, the risk, & with much worse results. A film for him, by him.